Share the Slide

The Big Kids have a plastic slide. This slide is honestly way too small for them, but they’ve yet to realize that they’ve outgrown it. It never fails, when we have a crisp fall Sunday afternoon, I find myself reminding them that they need to share the slide and not push each other down the foot and a half of fun it provides because they are too anxious to enjoy the short thrill themselves.

I was traveling for work a few weeks back and a thought hit me. I have to learn to share the slide, too. It’s not a pretty thought.

My thoughts about sharing the slide starting when I was anxiously awaiting wheels up to get home to my babies (all of them). The flight attendant rattles off the list of oh so familiar reminders about in-flight safety. One of them is one I hadn’t really listened to.

In the event of a water evacuation, the door slides can be used as a raft.

The door slides can be used as a raft. Huh.

I thank God that I don’t have the schema for how big an inflated door slide would be, but if I am doing my math right, there’d be eight slides (provided we have access to them all) and about 130 passengers to share these slides with. So, like 16 people per slide (again, if we have them all).

That means 16 of us have to exit the plane in an orderly fashion. We have to leave behind the belongings that we have decided are oh so very necessary to shove against others’ belongings in an effort to save $25 or $50 in luggage fees. We have to navigate the lighted path to the exit doors and trust those seated in exit rows hold fast to their duty to assist others. And then, we have to share the slide.

We have to share the slide with 15 other people we may have never met. Or maybe we bumped into them in our rush to line up in group four when they haven’t even called group one. Or maybe we chose not to laugh at the anxious passenger’s joke about the way the crew is tossing the luggage on the plane and instead stared at them like they had the plague. Or maybe they’re someone who has a bit of a sneeze but had to get on the plane to go defend our country. We have to share the slide with people that we need to be in it all together.

Stop and think about that.

We have to share the slide with people that are just like us in that moment, people that are looking to be safe and sound.

We have to share the slide not only in an emergency, but also when it’s time to have fun. We have to share it when it’s time to go through the paces of life. We have to share it every single day of our lives.

Friends, I encourage you to be kind to those around you always. You never know when you might need to share the slide. When you might need to be gentle to the person who is taking their time getting their butt on the slide and pushing off. When your kindness might be the one moment in their day that has gone right.

Be patient. Be kind. And share the slide.

Arianna, 2013

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